Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

By Gerard Meister

I was in a few airports over the July 4th weekend with the usual hassles checking in and the water problems. I get the feeling that bottled water is cheaper in the Sahara desert then in the average American airport. At Ft. Lauderdale I paid $4.00 for a liter bottle of water (nothing smaller was available). This works out to close to sixteen bucks per gallon. Highway robbery, or is it airport robbery – take your pick. 

Then of course there is the total insanity with political correctness and security. My wife and I both travel with walkers, mine a four wheeler with a seat and my wife a snappy three wheel model. I also carry a cane. So there we are two octogenarians (my wife actually is year shy of that milestone) traveling with my daughter and her fourteen year-old son.

We get early boarding privileges so there is no line at the checking station. First they take both walkers down the walkway to store for us and we start removing our shoes, which means I balance on my cane to get my sneakers off. Next I take off my back brace and I’m standing there pretty wobbly, but thank heavens, I have my cane; my trusty solid oak cane with an old fashioned curved handle.

So now they ask for my cane and I say "You can’t have it, I’ll topple over."

A supervisor appears, “we’ll have to screen that cane sir, that’s the rules. We’re only trying to protect you, sir.”

“From what?” I ask, but quickly add for fear I‘ll be thrown off the flight, “if you bring me a chair so I won’t fall, I’ll sit and wait until you screen my cane.”

“Well, we have to keep the line moving (I never would have guessed it) so try this one and signals to an agent who promptly hands me a cane.

“Wow!” I exclaim. “You people think of everything, I’m very impressed”.

The supervisor smiles as I finally make it through the portal. The country has been protected to the nth degree, except of course from Islamist terrorists who seem to go flying through checkpoint after checkpoint because no one in America wants to be labeled as being a racial profiler, a sin of biblical proportions to the politically correct scorekeepers at the ACLU and the New York Times. Heaven help us!

Click on Gerard Meister for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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